Otterbein University Ranked in the Top 20 in U.S. News & World Report and Named a College of Distinction

Posted Sep 11, 2019

Otterbein University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Colleges of Distinction for its academic excellence, commitment to undergraduate teaching, and focus on affordability, student success outcomes, and experiential learning.

In the U.S. News & World Report 2020 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” Otterbein is ranked 20th among 162 peers in the Regional Universities–Midwest category and once again named a “Best Value School” and a “Best College for Veterans.”

This year, Otterbein was also named a “Top Performer for Social Mobility,” thanks to its initiatives to make a college education more affordable for students from under-served school districts. The new Opportunity Scholarship, which meets full need to tuition for Ohio residents whose families earn $60,000 or less or who qualify for the Federal Pell grant, has increased socio-economic diversity and resulted in 242 Pell-eligible students, or 34% of the entering student body this fall — the most in school history. The new Opportunity Scholarship joins a growing number of Otterbein initiatives focused on serving low-income, underserved students.

“Our recruitment efforts demonstrate our commitment to students who are often overlooked by other universities. We see their potential and desire to continue their education, and Otterbein makes a 21st century education affordable for them. Once here, we provide extensive support to ensure they are successful in their transitions to college and their academic careers,” said Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, vice president for enrollment management.

Otterbein ranked 20th overall; 14th in its category on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list; and 10th in its category for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” The entire survey can be viewed at .

Also this year, Otterbein has once again been recognized as one of the nation’s Colleges of Distinction. Otterbein received program-specific recognition in Business, Education, Engineering, Nursing, and Career Development.

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process consists of a review of each institution’s freshman experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, alumni success, strategic plan, student satisfaction, and more. Schools are accepted on the basis that they adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes.

In addition to the College of Distinction inclusion, the Field of Study badges that Otterbein earned are true marks of honor in the world of higher education, representing programs that invest in student engagement in fields that demand innovative, critical thinking. Colleges of Distinction has granted these awards after an comprehensive vetting process, individually selecting schools based on such qualities as accreditation, breadth of program, and a track record for success. More information can be found at